Blondie have dropped holiday song “Yuletide Throwdown.” Cowritten and performed with Fab 5 Freddy, it was originally released in 1981 as a free holiday flexi-disc by U.K. magazine Flexipop and Blondie subsequently released the track in February 1982. The reissue is now available digitally as a three-song EP that features the rare original recording, and a new Cut Chemist remix and radio edit.
The band rediscovered the track as they were reviewing material for their upcoming box set, which is slated to arrive next August.
“It’s been floating around for years. We came across the original tapes when researching the upcoming Blondie archival box set,” guitarist Chris Stein told Rolling Stone of the track. “It’s nice to see it get a proper release.”
“Yuletide Throwdown” not only captures the holiday spirit, but it gives listeners a glimpse behind the band’s creative process. The song serves as the basis of one of Blondie’s biggest hits, “Rapture.”
“When we first recorded ‘Rapture’ it was slower. This was the first version,” Stein said. “We decided to make it faster. The slower tape was just bass, drums and guitar doubling the bass, I don’t think much else. I took the tape to my home studio and added stuff, then Debbie [Harry] and [Fab 5] Fred [Brathwaite] did their vocals.”
In a statement, Harry reminisced about when they recorded it. “It has been an impossible amount of time since I believed in Santa Claus, but I could very well believe again if he was Freddy Brathwaite!! Some of my best times have been making music with Chris Stein and Freddy B,” she said.
On November 5th, the set will be available in 180-gram limited edition vinyl versions that come in either black or magenta, which are available for preorder. The vinyl comes in a die-cut bespoke “disco-bag”-styled sleeve with artwork by New York graffiti artist Hugogyrl.